Over the past few months, financial stability has become increasingly precarious. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everything from our health and well-being to our finances. According to research, an astounding 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment during the pandemic. A report also indicates that over 54% of households have reported financial troubles caused by the pandemic.
As the U.S. continues to battle with the ongoing pandemic, managing finances has become increasingly difficult. If you’re struggling to ensure financial stability, we’ve rounded up some tips to help you ride the turbulent and volatile waves of the COVID-19 pandemic with ease and adroitness.
1. Make Budgeting a Priority
Budgeting is easily one of the most secure and effective ways to manage your finances. While taking out a loan may sound tempting, it can backfire, especially if you make an uninformed, hasty decision. According to research, a whopping 64% of Americans worked on their spending during the pandemic.
Start by identifying and listing your financial spending categories. These should generally include “groceries,” “utilities,” “transport,” “personal care,” “education,” “health and fitness,” “entertainment,” “pets,” and more depending on your family and lifestyle. Split each category into additional sections for precise planning.
Calculate your current expenses and determine how much you’re saving. Based on the difference, create a “spending goal” section for each category. Save as much as you can, wherever you can, no matter how negligible the difference may seem. As your savings add up, you’ll end up freeing up a significant amount of money. Update your budget each month to stay on top of things.
2. Track the Resources That Are Available to You
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed several economic relief packages. As President-elect Joe Biden takes over, people are expecting a major stimulus package in January. Keep up with these updates to ensure you’re making the most of the resources that are available to you. Click here to get a closer look at the economic policies Biden is advocating for in light of the pandemic.
3. Create an Emergency Budget
While creating a budget is important, it’s not enough. The economic effects of the pandemic have been unpredictable, chaotic, and frenzied, to say the least. Creating an emergency budget is a great way to get a backup in case things take a turn for the worse.
Use the 50/30/20 rule to ensure you have adequate emergency reserves. As a rule of thumb, create a mitigation and contingency plan that offers 4–6 months of protection.
4. Don’t Take on More Than You Can Handle
While the thought of getting multiple jobs and starting a side hustle may sound financially tempting, it can easily backfire. Taking on more than you can handle will not only affect your health, but it’ll also take a toll on your emotional state. Instead, consider asking for a raise during the pandemic.
However, if you feel that you can take on more work, plan ahead to retain a healthy work-life balance. The last thing you want is to feel drained, overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious because you’ve simply taken on too much.
5. Master the Art of Running a Successful Business during a Pandemic
Struggling to improve your financial standing? Consider revamping your business strategy. Here’s a roundup of some of the most insightful books that’ll equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to make your business a booming success:
- The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success by Darren Hardy
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
- Selling Made Simple by Brian Tracy
- The Miracle of Self-Disciple by Brian Tracy
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
These powerful, thought-provoking books have helped countless people transform their businesses during the pandemic. The authors take you by the hand and realign your mindset so you can achieve your short-term and long-term business goals, set new goals, and ensure ongoing success. When used in tandem, these tips will help you identify and circumvent the pitfalls of the pandemic.